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Dunston 2
Pearson (54'), Djalo (73')
1 Grimsby Borough
Collins (13')

REPORT | Dunston UTS 2-1 Grimsby Borough

Dunston UTS ensured that they took the race for the playoff places to the final day with a gutsy victory over Grimsby Borough FC.

Second half goals from Dale Pearson and Sadó Djaló were enough to take the points, meaning that Dunston now sit two points off the playoff places going into the final day. Long Eaton, Hebburn and Stocksbridge Park all sit above Dunston currently, but any slip ups by these teams could give Dunston an opportunity to leapfrog them into a playoff spot, should Chris Swailes' side win at Carlton Town.

Jack Elliott was introduced to the starting lineup following an impressive cameo from the bench during Saturdays win with Tadcaster Albion, while there was a welcome return for Jude Swailes who took the place of the suspended Jon Shaw in defence.

Dunston, who knew they had to win this game to be in with any chance of reaching the playoffs come the final day, were on the back foot early on and were behind on 13 minutes. Lewis Collins shrugged off a defensive challenge and was able to coolly slot the ball past Dan Staples to give the away side the lead after a positive start by the visitors.

The goal seemed to get Dunston going, and Jack Camarda had a go from distance on 23 minutes, however his curling effort was easily saved by Liam Higton in the Grimsby goal.

Dunston should have been level on 27 minutes, but lady luck was not on their side as Jenkins and Djaló both saw their efforts hit the post in the same attack before Dale Pearson's eventual follow up was cleared off the line thanks to some last ditch Grimsby defending.

And Pearson came close again just moments later. This time, Higton tipped over his left-footed strike as Dunston continued to apply the pressure.

Pearson was causing all manner of problems from the Lincolnshire side's defence, and had another glorious opportunity to level the tie just before half-time after being played through on goal, but his shot rolled agonisingly wide of the post.

Dunston refused to give up the fight and started the second half in similar vain to how they finished the first. Djaló had the first chance of the half, volleying an effort well over, before Pearson headed a Camarda cross just wide of the post minutes later.

Finally, on 54 minutes, Dale Pearson grabbed his deserved goal. A quick thinking counter-attack started by Staples saw a long ball find Jack Elliott who laid off Pearson to lash home into the top corner and tie the game.

Despite the goal, Dunston still needed to find the winner. Higton was again called into action, tipping over a Djaló effort with 30 minutes to play, before the Grimsby defence scrambled to clear another effort from the Guinea-Bissau forward off the line.

On 73 minutes however, Dunston got the goal they so desperately needed. That man Djaló was in the right place at the right time to bury an effort after being laid off by Pearson in the box.

And despite some nervy final moments, Dunston held on for what proved to be a priceless victory, edging the team closer to those elusive playoff positions. Dunston travel to Carlton knowing that they need to win, and then it's all eyes on the other sides to see if anyone will slip up.

Published Wednesday 19th April 2023